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Business Model

Introducing the 'Rakuten Ecosystem'
- a globally pioneering business model
The Rakuten Ecosystem, which is formed by various services offered by Rakuten Group, is a one-of-a-kind member-based business model that connects Rakuten services through the Rakuten Super Points reward system.
Rakuten members receive a Rakuten ID upon registration that is common to various Rakuten services, which all utilize Rakuten Super Points to reward loyal users and encourage the patronage of other Rakuten Group services. Furthermore, Rakuten's convenient settlement services, such as Rakuten Card credit card and e-money service Rakuten Edy create a perfect mix of online and offline services.
The Rakuten Ecosystem and our membership database form the foundation of our business, but it also offers our members fun and convenient online shopping and service experiences. The synergies generated by the Rakuten Ecosystem multiply day-by-day and will continue to expand Rakuten Group Gross Transaction Volume and life-time value per member into the future.
  • Business Model
  • Business Model

1. Rakuten Ichiba Business Model - Globally Unique

Rakuten Ichiba, Japan's largest Internet shopping mall, is a B2B2C (Business to Business to Consumer) business model where merchants located in different regions can come together to from an online virtual shopping mall. The main profit sources are fixed fees from merchants and fees based on each transaction and other services. Rakuten Ichiba offers a proprietary system called RMS (Rakuten Merchant Server) which is a development platform for running shops on the Internet through Rakuten Ichiba, and e-commerce consultants (ECCs) who are dedicated staff offering consulting services with a mission to help merchants overcome challenges and grow their sales.
Other e-commerce sites are more product centric, and emphasize efficiency and passive interaction with consumers, but at Rakuten Ichiba the merchants themselves design their own sites and can show the originality of their stores, and can directly engage users through e-mail and SNS (Social Networking Services), resulting in a more pleasing shopping experience. This is an attractive feature to bring in users, compared with other e-commerce sites.
  • 1. Rakuten Ichiba Business Model - Globally Unique

2. High Value Added 'Rakuten Super Points'

Rakuten Super Points is the most popular loyalty points program in Japan. Points can be earned through shopping and various other services in the Rakuten Group's ecosystem. For shopping, consumers are granted 1 point per JPY 100 of purchases, and we often offer 2x or 3x points campaigns or more. 1 point is equivalent to JPY 1 for the next purchase, or it can be used for travel and commissions for financial services.

Point of the Year 2012

Rank Company Score
1 Rakuten 157
2 ANA 129
3 JCB Card 111
4 T-POINT 105
5 JAL 94

3. Fusion of the Internet and Offline: Rakuten Card and Rakuten Edy

Rakuten Card credit card and Rakuten Edy e-money can also be used offline at various locations, and Rakuten points can be earned. Since Rakuten Super Points can be used on the Internet for shopping, travel reservations, and other services, this fusion of online and offline produces a highly convenient settlement tool. Rakuten's services are not just spreading through the Internet, but offline too.
  • 3. Fusion of the Internet and Real World. Rakuten Card and Rakuten Edy

4. A Globally Expanding Ecosystem with Rakuten Marketplace Model

The Rakuten Group has been accelerating its advancement overseas, with its various businesses and services such as e-commerce and eBooks & eReading.
  • 4. Global Development: Aiming to become the world's number 1 Internet services company
  • After beginning our e-commerce business advance into Taiwan in 2008 and Thailand in 2009, we entered into the US and France in 2010. In 2011, we expanded into Indonesia, Germany, UK, and Brazil. In 2012, we launched a new e-commerce business in Malaysia, while accelerating the integration of Rakuten's marketplace model into our overseas e-commerce businesses. Each of these countries have promising e-commerce markets, and with the mutual cooperation of Rakuten Ichiba in Japan and each country's e-commerce sites, plus the introduction of the accumulated know-how such as Rakuten Super Points, we can develop our cross border business and accelerate our growth. We have actively expanded overseas in areas such as performance marketing and travel business, while enhancing our global development centers.
    In January 2012, the Rakuten Group also acquired Kobo Inc. of Canada, which manages an eReader business in many countries around the world. This represents our full-fledged push into eBooks, a market which is expected to rapidly expand globally. Kobo offers a global eReading service with nearly 10 million users over 190 countries, deploying original social functions and a variety of devices and languages to construct a highly advanced eBook business model. Our Group, using this advanced business model, plans to fuse global e-commerce services, and aims to offer a borderless digital content platform across various devices.
    The Rakuten Group will promote a horizontal penetration of our unique business model started from Japan as well as the know-how for success in each country and region. Also, we will develop a highly synergetic global management platform and will enlarge the Rakuten Ecosystem globally, striving to become the world's No. 1 Internet services company.
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